Don’t let the past be our future


Theresa May recently said in a speech to mark 20 years of the Bank of England’s independence, “A free market economy, operating under the right rules and regulations, is the greatest agent of collective human progress ever created. It was the new combination which led societies out of darkness and stagnation and into the light of the modern age … That is unquestionably the best, and indeed the only sustainable, means of increasing the living standards of everyone in a country.”

Sixty years of the greatest health and social reform this country has ever known, saving and preserving countless millions of lives, and then the Tories came grasping to power to steal that sixty years of progress from us and now Theresa May comes out with this utter bollocks.

Here’s a brief passage from Harry Leslie Smith’s book, ‘Don’t let my past be your future. A call to arms’.

‘My life is at eventide, and the curtain of night is closing in upon my time on this earth. I am almost one hundred years old. I know death is waiting for me but there are still some things that I must do before my life’s journey is complete. I must set before my grandchildren and others the story of my early life. I must let them know about my struggles and that of my generation to build a more equal country for all and how that relates to today’s politics. I must remind them to be vigilant against demagogues because the ugly spectre of fascism has started to stir again across the globe. It was contained once behind the thick walls of a functioning welfare state but, as they have now begun to crumble, all past evils are running out like mice through rotting floorboards. There is so much I must say because I do not wish to suffer the torment my mother endured before she died. She had kept her tongue still about many regrets in her life.

Ah, poor Mum, her guilt was great – it was bigger than the cancerous tumour killing her – for sins she thought she’d done to my dad, me and her other children during the great depression era. She begged for my forgiveness, for the harm she may have caused me during the 1930’s. ‘I was trying to keep thee alive and thy sister but it was so bloody hard.’

The pages of my own life are turning towards its close and cancer too feeds on my body. I have no fear of that, but I do fear the great evil that is being done to all of us and neither will I be silent.

My mother also was racked by guilt and fear, though she did her best to raise four kids in poverty yet, thanks to Harry’s generation, I was raised in a country with a National Health Service and a social safety net, it was a supreme achievement, it preserved me through illness then as it does to this day. But if May and her party have their way, it will not last for much longer. May’s progress is our regress to the dark days of Harry’s youth, it’s happening as I write and is clear to anyone with an eye to see and who cares to look.

The Tories have lied, cheated, deceived and plundered their way through seven years of government, robbing us blind to feed the naked greed of the ‘free market economy’, which is anything but free to those it feeds on.

They are reduced to trying to mimic the manifesto pledges of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn, and failing, as they must, because they are liars and thieves, nothing more. They are a spent force, grasping only for power, and failing.

Those who work for the benefit of all work for something that can never be extinguished, hope and a real future that benefits everyone, not just the grasping few and the rapacious greed of the financial markets.

Harry Leslie Smith is yet a living reminder of what we all stand to lose and what we must fight for and to do it for the love of life. Nature is the master of us all, never the greed of those who have no reverence for life or care for the living. We survive, not through competition, but through cooperative endeavour. That is what has got us this far is the only thing that can sustain any future that is worth living.

I stand with Harry and am proud to do so and I thank him for his words of encouragement and wisdom, for life.

KOG. 03 October 2017

4 thoughts on “Don’t let the past be our future

  1. Reblogged this on The Night Owl and commented:
    Without the NHS I, like so many others, wouldn’t be here now – and the Tories are stealing this away from us, our children, and their children too!
    Harry Smith’s words are so true – It really IS a Call to Arms, isn’t it? 😦
    I just hope and pray that we can use every kind of media, but especially social media, as a way of getting the message across to everyone – before our NHS is totally gone!

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